Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Book Review: Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready

Book: Buried
Author: Robin Merrow MacCready
Published: 2006

One morning, 17-year-old Claudine wakes up to find her mother missing. She stays calm, though. Erratic behavior from her alcoholic mother is not unusual. Odds are she’s taken off with a new boyfriend.

So Claudine goes to school, pretends that her mother has checked herself into rehab, and keeps up the facade of “just fine, thanks” that has always gotten her through. But as the days go by with no word from her mother, Claudine’s facade begins to crack and crumble. She can’t remember a test in her favorite subject, she forgets to put the cat out, she can’t even remember to take a shower. Something’s very wrong here. Where is Claudine’s mother?

And what does Claudine know that she’s pretending she doesn’t?

MacCready comes at the story of child-of-an-alcoholic from a different angle than most writers, showing how even as Claudine hates her mother for screwing up her daughter's life in addition to her own, she loves her for being dependent. She likes to know that she’s the strong one, the one who’s got it all figured out.

Everything comes out--the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly. Claudine is at least as much of a mess as her mother, albeit in a different direction. In situations where her mother would take a drink, she writes lists and obsesses over chores, organizing via a complex system of color-coding Post-Its, trying to keep everything under control. Of course, with her mother gone, her own reason for existence has vanished. Who is Claudine without her mother?

Read this book once, then read it again. You won’t be sorry.


Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks!
I rarely pay attention to my Google alerts because they're mostly about Buried being up for sale on eBay...

Your review was a very nice surprise!


Bibliovore said...

You're welcome! I glad I could brighten your day, but you know the book deserves every word.